Charles “CY” Young III, a longtime leader of the Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration and other programs of the Native Islander Business and Community Affairs Association, died Thursday at his home on Hilton Head Island at age 70.
“He got involved, and he tried to get other people involved,” said his lifelong friend Veronica Miller.
He encouraged business ownership in the island’s Gullah community, and used the services offered through NIBCAA in conjunction with the U.S. Small Business Administration, SCORE and the Technical College of the Lowcountry to foster his own business, C&J Landscaping.
He was a deacon and chairman of the board of deacons at St. James Baptist Church.
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He served on the board of the Mitchelville Preservation Project.
He was involved with the Arthur E. Wiley American Legion Post 42 on Hilton Head.
But his greatest love was the monthlong Gullah Celebration held each February for the past 21 years on Hilton Head.
“He loved that month,” Miller said, even thought it was a lot of work. “He loved planning that month. That was really his joy. That was his heart.”
Young grew up in the Squire Pope community where he attended the Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church. His family home at the corner of Gum Tree and Wild Horse roads was known for many years as the site of Hilton Head’s grandest Christmas decorations.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. James Baptist Church with burial following in Beaufort National Cemetery with military honors.
Marshel’s Wright-Donaldson Home for Funerals of Beaufort is in charge of arrangements.